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5 on Friday: 5 Tasty Ideas for Asparagus

Each Friday, we share five things that are getting buzz around the Cooking Light offices—from what we’re reading around the Web, to what’s hot on Instagram, or even our latest favorite ingredient.

I've only recently developed a love for asparagus. My first introductions to the stalky green vegetable were of the canned variety—slimy, pale, and salty. Asparagus casseroles haunted my visions any time someone offered it as a side. It wasn't until I grilled some for myself one night that I realized the wonderfulness that is crisp-tender asparagus.

I'm not the only person who loves asparagus, it seems. We posted this asparagus photo on our Instagram feed last night, and it quickly became our most-liked photo of the year.

If you're as excited for the arrival of asparagus and spring produce as I am, here are 5 tasty ways you can enjoy these tasty spears from The Zing of Spring feature in our April issue.

1. Roast olive oil--coated spears, sprinkled with salt and pepper, at 425° for 7 minutes or until crisp-tender.

2. Save the tough ends of spears to flavor veggie stock. Freeze for up to 6 months.

3. Sauté chopped asparagus in sesame oil 5 minutes or until crisp-tender; season with lower-sodium soy sauce and a squeeze of lime.

4. Keep steamed or boiled asparagus electric green by dunking in ice water immediately after cooking. Reheat when ready to serve.

5. Puree tender cooked asparagus with chicken or veggie stock for a quick soup. If you strain it, you can also use the tough ends.

Need even more ideas for this spring star? We've got more than 50 asparagus recipes for every kind of cuisine. Or click here to watch our food editor make this spring favorite.